K-Drama Review: ‘Love in Contract’ Another Lovely Rom-Com From Park Min Young

love in contract kdrama review

Edited by Hong Hyun Jung
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

love in contract kdrama review
Credit: tvN

Park Min Young, who showed a complicated relationship in the drama Forecasting Love and Weather earlier this year, is back with an easy rom-com. tvN’s new Wednesday-Thursday drama Love in Contract is expected to present a heart-fluttering romance that anyone who enjoyed What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim and Her Private Life will welcome.

Even the setting is intriguing – a master of contract marriage getting caught up in a love triangle between a mysterious long-term client and a new top star client. The plot seems somewhat familiar, but this “familiarity” is the charm of the rom-com genre, and now we’re left with a question of how the drama will unfold this love triangle.

In rom-coms, marriage symbolizes a perfect happy ending and the final gateway for two characters in love. But for Choi Sang Eun, the female lead of Love in Contract, marriage is just her job. She’s the master of contract marriage. She provides customized services to those who need marriage and is willing to register a marriage if the clients pay the fee. Sang Eun feels proud of the work that she does when she sees her satisfied clients. However, there’s a side effect of working so long in this business, and when she thinks about how she got divorced 12 times when she was only in her late 20s, she can’t help but feel some bitterness.

Love in Contract begins as Sang Eun decides to retire. As she delightfully wraps up her business, she finds herself bothered by her client of five years, Jung Ji Ho. She knows nothing about him, and for all those years, they haven’t even had one proper conversation. The only thing she did was have a quiet dinner every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at his house, but that time when she didn’t do anything became a resting place for her.

Ahead of the contract termination, the emotional changes that blur the lines between work and private make their relationship interesting. Sang Eun, who’s always treated her clients professionally, falls into confusion when she sees herself hesitating to notify the end of the contract to him, and at the same time, Ji Ho tries not to get in the way of Sang Eun as she prepares for her new life, failing to notice his own feelings toward her. The intimate feelings that blossom in this “only business” relationship spark excitement.

Their relationship with a subtle tension quickly spices up when a third man walks into the picture. Kang Hae Jin, a popular actor, moves into the luxury villa where Ji Ho lives, and he knew Sang Eun before she became who she is now, and above all, she is his first love. Hae Jin grows curious about Sang Eun’s relationship with the suspicious man living downstairs and intervenes in her life. Stimulating Ji Ho’s jealousy, Hae Jin creates romantic tension in the drama.

love in contract kdrama review
Credit: tvN

The actors’ performances that perfectly blend in with the rom-com drama are another charm of Love in Contract. First of all, Park Min Young did Park Min Young again. It seems like she’s playing similar roles after What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, but she gives off a vibe of “knowing what she does” rather than “seemingly trite.” She lovingly depicts a character with both sides of the capable master of contract marriages and the clumsy, goofy girl by adding a bright, sly comedy. Of course, her various stylings reminiscent of a fashion show double the fun of watching the drama.

Ko Kyung Pyo‘s comedy acting seems to have flowered. In the beginning, he exudes a suspicious vibe and raises curiosity about Ji Ho, but after he is revealed as a judge, he expresses the character’s indifferent personality with dry humor, completing a whimsical charm. In particular, the subtle expression he makes when Ji Ho finds himself in an awkward situation is pure gold. Kim Jae Young cleverly portrays the self-centered top star Hae Jin with a completely different performance from his previous drama Reflection of You. With Park Min Young in the center and Ko Kyung Pyo and Kim Jae Young backing her up, Love in Contract is sailing smoothly.

Moreover, Woo Kwang Nam (Kang Hyung Suk), Sang Eun’s former client and now roommate, can’t be left out. A gay friend in a rom-com may be common in foreign films but quite rare in Korean dramas, so their relationship is quite refreshing. Sang Eun and Kwang Nam’s plan to travel to Canada may have come to a dead end, but we’d love to see their friendship.

Episode 4 ended as Hae Jin dropped a bomb in front of the reporters, heralding the start of a love triangle in earnest. Sang Eun and Hae Jin are tired of the marriage business within the chaebol family, while Ji Ho suffered the pain of divorce due to his apathetic personality. I can’t wait to see how their romance will excite us. And of course, I hope to see a wonderful love story for Kwang Nam as well. (6/10)


Edited Hong Hyun Jung: I am a K-content guide who publishes various articles for people to enjoy Korean movies and dramas deeper and richer. I’ll introduce you to the works that you can laugh, cry and sympathize with.


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